No matter the industry, IT professionals are always looking to improve their business’ technology infrastructure and increase their individual abilities. But in any business, it’s important to have a full understanding of the benefits and costs of a certification, especially when there are so many different technology certifications available.
This is no different when evaluating whether or not to invest the time and money to pursue Cisco networking certification. Here are the costs and benefits of becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate or CCNA.
What is a CCNA?
CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Associate is the designation given to any IT professional that completes CCNA training and passed the required certification exams. CCNAs are beginner or associate-level IT certifications. This certification program serves as the base standard for IT professionals with a knowledge of Cisco networking and operating systems.
To become a CCNA, applicants must pass selected required exams that vary on the recipient’s chosen CCNA specifications.
There are 9 different specializations of CCNA certifications that prepare IT professionals with specialized skills to fill a variety of IT jobs. These specializations are:
CCNA Cloud – This certification is designed for IT professionals who specialize in Cisco cloud systems engineering, administration, or development.
CCNA Collaboration – This Cisco certification is designed for network engineers, collaboration engineers and IP experts.
CCNA Cyber Ops – Cisco CCNA Cyber Ops recipients are well-suited for careers in cybersecurity and cybercrime protection and law enforcement operations.
CCNA Data Center – CCNA Data Center certifications test professionals ability to identify and repair data center problems quickly.
CCNA Industrial – A Cisco Certified Network Associate Industrial is perfect for careers in industrial network administration, engineering or networking in industries like manufacturing, power and robotics.
CCNA Routing and Switching – For most industries, a CCNA Routing and Switching associate is perfect to manage the IT networks for businesses.
CCNA Security – Security Certified Cisco Network Associates excel at securing Cisco networks and identifying cybersecurity threats for most industries.
CCNA Service Provider – CCNA SPs are well suited to repair and maintain Cisco networks for service industries and businesses.
CCNA Wireless – Certifies associate-level professionals in wireless technologies.
How much time will earning a CCNA take?
Since becoming a CCNA requires passing exams and displaying an understanding of the material, the time required to study for, prepare and pass the exam varies based on the individuals that take the exams. There are many self-paced online options that can be well-suited for IT professionals that may already have the knowledge necessary to pass the exam, but want to prepare for the exam specifically.
But, certifications are not necessarily the best indicator of an individual’s skills. A test is not a job, and success on an exam does not always translate to success in real-world situations.
Depending on how much time a CCNA applicant dedicates to studying and preparing, this program can take anywhere from 2.5-5 months. Individuals with less time to dedicate to training may take even longer.
In-class CCNA programs are designed to help IT professionals learn the skills necessary to succeed on the job and pass the certification exam. Going into a certification exam with the skills from ICND1 and ICND2 training classes will greatly increase your chances of passing the exams on the first try. At Centriq Training, we offer CCNA training with an instructor and Cisco gear in the classroom with you. That hands-on experience prepares you for your certification exam and day-to-day challenges you face as an IT pro.
See our guide on the new CNNA Certification Exam starting February 2020.
How much does a CCNA exam cost?
If you are prepared to take the exam without any training, the fee for most of the tests is $250 with select tests set at $295. Remember, each certification requires multiple tests, so costs range anywhere from $500-$800 depending upon your desired specialization. For more information on each CCNA specialization and requirements, visit Cisco’s site here.
Online learning materials can range widely based on the amount of content included in online packages as well as the form. Video content, for instance, may cost more than a library of text content.
Structured courses come with an initial investment, but better prepare certification recipients for success in their job roles. These prices can range based on everything from instructor experience to location. At Centriq, we offer a variety of pricing options designed to save businesses money based on the needs of their organization and internal training program goals. Read more about our pricing options here.
Whether you are an individual IT professional looking to increase your skills or a team of IT professionals looking to expand your abilities for your organization, a CCNA certification program is a great way to learn and display your skills on Cisco systems. Your company may have Centriq Vouchers or Cisco Learning Credits you can use to pay for training as well. One of our Training Advisor can help you determine this. Contact them at email@example.com or call 913-322-7062 to learn more about Centriq Training. You can view our class schedule of CCNA courses here.